In early 2015 I visited Myanmar. During my three weeks I travelled from Yangon to Bagan, to Kalaw in the mountains and then down to Inle Lake.
This is the first slide show showing you Yangon and some of the wonderful colonial and modern buildings along with some of the religious buildings too.
Yangon stands on the east bank of the oceanic River Yangon, about 30km from the Andaman Sea. It came to prominence in the latter half of the 19th century when the British made it the capital of their new imperial possession. The colonial port area is still the commercial centre, though the heart of the city remains the gigantic gold Shwedagon Pagoda, visible from most places and so the main focal point.
Wat Rong Khun, better known as “the White Temple” is one of the most recognizable temples in Thailand. The temple outside the town of Chiang Rai attracts a large number of visitors, both Thai and foreign, making it one of Chiang Rai’s most visited attractions.
Wat Rong Khun is a unique temple that stands out through the white color and the use of pieces of glass in the plaster, sparkling in the sun. The white color signifies the purity of the Buddha, while the glass symbolizes the Buddha’s wisdom and the Dhamma, the Buddhist teachings.
The Wat Rong Khun was designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat, a famous Thai visual artist. To date the temple is not finished. Eventually there will be nine buildings including an ubosot, a hall to enshrine Buddhist relics, a meditation hall, the monks living quarters and an art gallery.
On May 5th 2014 a strong earthquake hit Chiang Rai. Although the white temple was badly damaged, Chalermchai Kositpipat decided to restore and further expand the Wat Rong Khun.
History of the Wat Rong Khun Towards the end of the 20th century, the original Wat Rong Khun was in a very poor state of preservation. Restoration works on the temple started, but had to be halted due to a lack of funds. Chalermchai Kositpipat, a artist born in Chiang Rai, decided to completely rebuild the temple and fund the project with his own money. The artist built the temple to be a center of learning and meditation and for people to gain benefit from the Buddhist teachings. Today the works are ongoing.
Wat Ban Rai (วัดบ้านไร่) is a wonderful and marvellous elephant-shaped Buddhist temple, located between Korat and Chaiyaphum in Nakhon Ratchasima, northeastern Thailand.
Located in the middle of a lake comprising an area of 48,562 square meters, it is one of the most fascinating temples in Thailand. Besides its stunning design in the shape of an elephant, Wat Ban Rai features amazing paints and statues.
The temple was conceived by the revered monk Luang Phor Koon Parisuttho พระเทพวิทยาคม (คูณ ปริสุทฺโธ), who passed away at 92 on Saturday May 16, 2015. Wat Ban Rai is one of the most significant temples for Isan people as well for all Thais.
Worshippers from across the country come there to pay their respect to Luang Phor Khoon. Wat Ban Rai is a 100 million baht temple (around 2,626,000 euros) which was built from donations and personal contributions.
I visited this weird and quirky place in 2012 when spending time in Laos near vientiane. It caught my imagination, I hope it does yours!
Buddha Park is more curious than spectacular – which makes for a curious spectacle. A rogue monk is said to have attempted to reconsolidates Buddhism and Hinduism into his own brand of mysticism through a prolific collection of sculptures depicting various deities and scenes from both religions. The information provided at the park is less dramatic, simply stating that Bunleua Sulilat constructed this sculpture garden in 1958 before fleeing across the Mekong to Thailand in 1978 and building a sister park across the river in Nong Khai.
The park’s countless dazzling sculptures were the life’s work of Boun Leua Sulilat, a Lao man who spent much of his early life absorbing mystical knowledge from an ascetic hermit named Kaew Ku, who lived in a cave in Laos. Sala Kaew Ku is Sulilat’s impressive attempt to bring this knowledge to life. While the striking depictions draw from a wide range of ancient beliefs, including animist folklore, Hindu mythology and Buddhist traditionalism, the execution is all Sulilat.
Surrounded by well-groomed gardens and a large pond, the 100+ sculptures range from modest in size to way larger than life, with the tallest reaching 25 metres in height. Along with endless grinning Buddhas and animated Hindu gods, the park features several depictions of nagas, or mythical serpents that play a prominent role in South and Southeast Asian mythology. Sulilat himself strongly identified with snakes, believing them to be the purest of all creatures.
The elegant Shwedagon Pagoda is Yangon’s most famous landmark. The massive 99 meter high gold plated pagoda with the diamond studded spire set on top of a small hill in downtown Yangon dominates the area and is visible from much of the city.
After dark there is a mystical atmosphere with the pagoda lit up by spotlights. The very impressive pagoda, also known as the Golden Pagoda, is Burma’s most important Buddhist pilgrimage site. The main stupa enshrines sacred relics of the Gautama Buddha as well as the three previous Buddhas.
I dedicate this slideshow to my dear photog friend- Fotoboy Burma Kyi Myint- Gee and the beautiful people of Myanmar